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A trip to the John Deere booth to learn more about the company’s utility vehicle lineup

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Editor-in-Chief Seth Jones visits the John Deere booth at the 2023 Equip Exposition to meet with Bill Britz, CEO of International Automated Systems (IAS), to learn more about the special utility vehicles the pair work to create.

Transcript

Seth Jones: Hey everybody, it’s Seth Jones, Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Management magazine. I’m out here at Equip Expo 2023. I’m with Bill Britz, he is the CEO of IAS. You know, you come to the John Deer booth and it feels kind of like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude; there’s a lot of snow things going on here, a lot of cool things, including this vehicle which I’ve never seen before. It’s very different for you guys – for being in a John Deere Booth. Tell me about what you do.

Bill Britz: Well we don’t do anything that John Deere couldn’t do, we just do things that John Deer probably shouldn’t do because the numbers aren’t high enough. So all your special purpose build vehicles: First responders, fire protection, law enforcement, emergency medical, military…we do those things for them. We ruggedize what we like to call “intensive use vehicles”, so vehicles that are going be used every day and have a specific purpose. So if there’s anything out there that someone wants to do with a smaller vehicle, we can put it on a John Deere platform which is actually built for work, and make those things happen for them. We spend a lot of time listening to customer needs and trying to figure out what they would need to have happen to make sure that vehicle does what they want it to do. It also helps a little bit the brand loyalty, instead of going outside the Deere family, we’re able to accomplish some those things and keep that brand.

Seth Jones: So talk to me about what this is exactly. You guys got a great spot here in the booth and just looking inside it’s very different from

Bill Britz: Well we have this – this is a specially built vehicle. The front of this vehicle actually has sling lifts for a helicopter to be able to pick it up if you need to, and the back are the same way. We do a lot of things like that for the military, but when the farmer or rancher sees it he says “You know what, I kind of like that – that quality – as well.” Everything we do is aluminum powder coated. There was a call for a four-door unit with AC, heat, and electric windows, so we actually fabricated the doors and put them on this one – this vehicle was finished on Wednesday of last week, so we brought it down. But we always like to say that if it’s not against the US Constitution or against the laws on physics, we’ll build it for ya. We love having Deere as a partner because the platform is such a high quality platform, we can do almost anything with it. The platform and the payloads are fantastic!

Seth Jones: Give me some examples of some of the other vehicles you fired out into the world for different uses.

Bill Britz: Okay well, we have a flight line maintenance vehicle we did, we built 2,000 units for the Army. They were actually using a much heavier unit, and they like this [new unit]. We do certified vehicles for air travel, so the c45, just a lot of your military air flights that are out there. The v22 Ospray, we’re certified to go on those as well. We just do whatever the customer’s looking for. We actually took a progator and made a six-wheel drive, four-wheel steer vehicle for the Navy – So there’s really no end to what we can do. As long as it’s possible we’ll get it finished. If someone comes along and says “I want a longer bed”, “I want to be able to haul more tools”, or “I want a bed that only tilts partially, like the back 70% to the front stationary, put your chains on front and your wood in the back…” We do those things for them, so farmers and ranchers love it.

Seth Jones: Sounds like you got a fun job!

Bill Britz: We have a great job! We have a good time, I spend more time in the plant than most chairmen.

Seth Jones: Okay okay good, very good! All right everybody, again this is Bill Britz, I’m Seth Jones, and we’re out here at Equip Expo. Bill, thanks for your time, thanks for showing us this machine, and thanks for watching us here on Landscape Management TV.

LM Staff

LM Staff

Landscape Management's staff brings together collective experience in journalism, research, writing, and editing. Our team stays tapped into the pulse of the industry, covering a wide range topics with a commitment to delivering compelling stories and high-quality content.

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